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Kerala: Will VS be removed from CM's post?

July 04, 2009 10:15 IST
The crucial two-day Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo meeting specifically for Kerala party affairs will start at the AKG Bhavan, the CPI-M national headquarters, in Delhi at 10 am on Saturday.

The CPI-M politburo members from Kerala, Chief Minister V S Achuthandan, state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and the state home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan are already in Delhi.

The party, which is in the midst of a fierce group rivalry between the two factions led by the party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and the Achuthanandan, has reached such a situation which may even lead to its break up into fragments.

The party official faction led by Vijayan is enjoying a commendable majority in all the party committees, making it easier to bring out resolutions to remove the Chief Minister Achuthanandan from the post, and also even try to expel him from the party.

However, the most of the CPI-M sympathisers and ordinary people have a liking for Achuthanandan on the several people friendly issues he had taken up as the leader of the opposition during the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front rule in the state.

This popularity has turned out to be the major reason why the CPI-M central leadership is facing the dilemma of taking action against the octogenarian leader.

The faction close to Achuthanandan, which is numerically very little, has also brought to the notice of the central leadership on the negative impact the party faced in the issue of chargesheeting Pinarayi Vijayan in the multi crore SNC Lavelin case when he was the power minister in the Nayanar cabinet of 1996.

Achuthanandan loyalists are campaigning among the masses that this single issue has resulted in the loss of credibility for the CPI-M as a political party with a difference, and one which is above the corruption network.

A CPI-M politburo member while speaking to said that the central leadership would try to find a neutral formula acceptable to both the factions.  There are indications that with Pinarayi being chargesheeted in the SNC Lavalin case, the official faction would also not press for the removal of Achuthanandan from the post of the Chief Minister.

Chargesheeting of Pinarayi by the Central Bureau of Investigation court also had its impact in the official party faction with the state finance minister Thomas Issac and the state home minister and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan trying to become power centres in the party, with the former lashing out at the Chief Minister in the last central committee.

Both these leaders are also trying for the coveted post of the party secretary if there is a decision from the politburo to change both the leaders from their respective posts.

Senior party leader and former MLA M V Jayarajan, who is close to Pinarayi Vijayan, told that the party politburo is the ultimate body of the CPI-M and there is no point in discussing something which has to be decided by the politburo.

However, another senior leader, who is also a central committee member said that Pinarayi Vijayan will come back unscathed as the politburo and the central leadership cannot overlook Vijayan that easily.

He added that regarding the Chief Minister's issue the official faction would press hard for his removal as there has been several instances of anti-party activities on the part of Achuthanandan which had given a poor image to the party among the ordinary public, thus reducing the morale of the party cadres.

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram